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MDC Harare West MP charged with treason

By Tarisai Machakaire

MDC MP for Harare West Joana Mamombe who was arrested on Saturday after attending to Parliament business in Nyanga, yesterday appeared before the Harare Magistrates’ Courts where she was formally charged with treason.

MDC MP Joana Mamombe arrives at Court after spending weekend behind bars
MDC MP Joana Mamombe arrives at Court after spending weekend behind bars

Mamombe yesterday challenged her placement on remand arguing that the police had breached the 48-hour provision, which is the time between a suspect’s arrest and the time s/he is brought before a court of law.

She said before her arrest, her mother was put under house arrest by unidentified security agents who demanded to know her whereabouts.

“I had gone for a Media and Parliamentary Workshop in Nyanga and around midnight of February 25, my mother called saying she was in trouble because six men were at the house looking for me.

The second call was from one of the men who was at my mother’s house and he told me that I was in hot soup,” she said.

Mamombe told the court that she then contacted her lawyer Obey Shava to find out if she was wanted by the police and was advised that the six men at her mother’s residence were not under police sanction.

She was later arrested on Saturday before being brought to court yesterday. Her lawyer argued that the 48-hour provision had been breached.

Shava also claimed that one of the arresting details Dennis Muroyiwa was a bogus cop who had been sent by the army to execute Mamombe’s arrest.

Muroyiwa claimed to be a member of CID Law and order but failed to name his superiors or appreciate basic police procedures.

“You do not know anything about police structures; you do not even know your previous boss or the department where you are supposedly based. Who is making you masquerade as an officer and when are you going to return to the barracks?” Shava queried.

Allegations against Mamombe emerged on January 14, 2019, when she held a presser at Civic Centre, Marlbrough in Harare in her capacity as MDC MP.

The court heard Mamombe together with members of her constituency planned to join hands with other trade unions to coerce and invite them to overthrow President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.

It is further alleged the 25-year-old legislator urged members of her constituency to resort to civil disobedience and demonstrations to shut down Zimbabwe in response to public outcry over fuel price hikes, shortages and high cost of living.

The court heard that between January 14 and 16, 2019 and in response to Mamombe’s presser, members of the opposition, various trade unionists, pressure groups, youth forums and members of the public engaged in violent protests across the country.

As a result property was destroyed, lives were lost, several police officers and members of the public were also injured.

Ruling of her bail hearing has been set for today. DailyNews